From Volume 38, Issue 1 of EIR Online, Published Jan. 7, 2011

United States News Digest

GOPers: Repeal of Obamacare at Top of Agenda

Jan. 2 (EIRNS)—A chorus of incoming Republican House leaders on the Sunday talking-head TV shows this morning, announced that they are putting the repeal of the hated Obama health-care bill on the top of the Congressional agenda, beginning before Obama's State of the Union speech Jan. 20. But none of them had the guts to call a Nazi a Nazi in describing what's wrong with the Obama bill.

Rep. Fred Upton (Mich.), who will head the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, took the point, saying that killing the health-care law is his top priority, which was challenged by Fox-TV host Chris Wallace, who reminded him that Obama would veto any attack on the healthcare bill.

"Chris, watch what happens," Upton replied. "We said that we would bring up a vote to repeal health care early. That will happen before the President's State of the Union address.

"We have 242 Republicans. There will be a significant number of Democrats, I think, that will join us. You will remember when that vote passed in the House last March, it only passed by seven votes.... Just wait. If you switched four votes from last March, that bill would have gone down. So we'll take the Democrats that voted no...."

Admitting that the Senate probably could not kill Obamacare, Upton said, in that event, "...we're going to go after this bill piece by piece." He also said that passing the bill in the House puts "enormous pressure on the Senate to do perhaps the same thing."

Statements by other Republican lawmakers, including, Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), incoming head of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, and Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) show that Upton wasn't speaking on his own. "[W]e will put forth a clean repeal bill of Obamacare," said Bachmann on CBS's Face the Nation, "because that's what the American people want us to do."

Outgoing Congressman Warns of Fascist Takeover of U.S.

Jan. 1 (EIRNS)—Outgoing Rep. John Hall (D-N.Y.), in an interview in the Dec. 28 New York Observer, warned that the nation could quickly descend into fascism, if more is not done to curb the influence of corporate money in politics. Speaking about the U.S. Supreme Court's Citizen's United decision, which allowed unregulated flow of cash into campaigns, Hall said, "I learned when I was in social studies class in school that corporate ownership or corporate control of government is called fascism. So that's really the question—is that the destination, if this court decision goes unchecked?"

Hall, a Democrat from New York's Hudson Valley, was elected in 2006, and defeated this past November. Hall said that the flow of corporate dollars is why he and the Democrats lost control of Congress.

"The country was bought," he said. "The extremist, most recent two appointees to the Supreme Court, who claimed in their confirmation hearings before the Senate that they would not be activist judges, made a very activist decision in that it overturned more than a century of precedent. And as a result there were millions of extra dollars thrown into this race."

"We are talking about supposedly wholesome names like Revere America, American Crossroads, Americans for Apple Pie and Motherhood—if somebody hasn't trademarked that one, I probably should. The fact is you can call it anything, and the money could be coming from BP or Aramco or any corporation domestic or foreign," Hall said.

Rohatyn Preps for Banker Takeovers of Cities and States

Dec. 31 (EIRNS)—Lazard Frères fascist Felix Rohatyn has crawled out of his hole to promote fascist austerity for the bankrupt cities and states, beginning with New York, where he wants to see a new Big MAC dictatorship set up (the Municipal Assistance Corporation of the 1970s in New York City, headed by Rohatyn).

Rohatyn comes out of the closet amid dozens of warnings about impending defaults on municipal bonds, and Business Insider's December issue warning that at least 16 cities in the U.S. would have to declare bankruptcy if they can not find new lenders, new revenues, and don't make deeper and deeper cuts in spending. "Those cities include New York City, the largest city in the U.S., Los Angeles, the second-largest city, Washington, D.C., the U.S. capital and San Francisco," reported Xinhua, the Chinese news agency, quoting Business Insider.

"New York is out of money. That is a fact, not an opinion," Rohatyn wrote in a New York Post op-ed on Dec. 15, in which he signalled Wall Street's pressure campaign on incoming Gov. Andrew Cuomo to adopt the Big MAC "model" of financial dictatorship.

But, today, Rohatyn complains, the size of the crisis is "staggering," and there is "not the political will" to push through the needed austerity. He finds "the constitutional barriers formidable." So, Felix and the bankers plan to "counteract any misinformation during the budget debate" and "show the consequences of failing to act." The bottom line is that New York "will need to cut spending."

So, to create the "political will," Rohatyn announced that he has joined the so-called, "Committee To Save New York," to lobby for firing public workers and making the murderous cuts in services.

What Rohatyn wants for New York is already underway. A report by the Congressional Budget Office notes that 15 states already have laws on the books that enable a financial control dictatorship to be set up over local governments. And Wall Street's lackeys are hyping the Rohatyn "precedent."

One blog,, reports that Rohatyn's actions, when the bankers (of which, of course, he is one) cut off New York City from issuing long-term bonds, are a "timely reminder of what to expect in 2011," when even the Fed cannot bail out localities, and "scrip will be issued to pay municipal bills and salaries."

Obama Recovery: Home Foreclosures Soar in Third Quarter 2010

Dec. 29 (EIRNS)—Home foreclosures in the United States increased 31.2% in the third quarter, over the second quarter of 2010. There were new foreclosure proceedings initiated on 382,000 homes between July and September 2010, which figure is 3.7% higher than the same time a year earlier.

These new foreclosure initiatives come on top of another 1.2 million homes already in the process of being foreclosed upon, according to today's report. This 1.2 million figure is 10.1% up over last year the same time, and is an increase of 4.5% over the previous quarter.

These figures represent another sign of the "recovery" as extolled by Obama. The two agencies releasing the report, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and Office of Thrift Supervision, issued a statement saying that the foreclosures reflected "the large number of seriously delinquent borrowers moving through the foreclosure process after servicers exhausted home retention programs...."

Home values continue to drop, in line with the wave of foreclosures. Home values fell 1.3% from September to October, in 20 major cities, according to the Case-Shiller index of property values, released this week.

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